I’m delighted to introduce my next guest, low carb blogger extraordinaire, Jimmy Moore of Livin’ La Vida Low-Carb.com!
Jimmy is an absolute giant in the low carb dieting world and anyone with even a passing interest in the low carb lifestyle will have come across Jimmy, such is the power of this low carb blogger extraordinaire!
Jimmy’s story is an amazing example of how it’s never too late to start making changes in your life and Jimmy is the walking embodiment of this.
Consider than in January 2004 Jimmy weighed in at 410 lbs. It was at this point that he decided enough was enough and he was going to do something about it.
One year later he’d lost 180lbs and shrunk his waist by 20 inches, reducing his shirt size from 5XL to XL at the same time.
When friends and neighbours asked how he did it Jimmy started his blog and the rest as they say, is history!
As a fan of low carb dieting myself, I’ve read a tonne of articles by a tonne of people and I can tell you that Jimmy is THE authority when it comes to the low carb lifestyle.
So who better for us talk low carb with than the man himself!
Ladies and Gentlemen…Jimmy Moore!
The Jimmy Moore Story: Jan 2004 – 410 lbs
Skye: Hi Jimmy, thanks for talking with us today and sharing your experiences with us.
Your new diet started on 1st January 2004, what was the last meal you ate before starting your new diet?
Jimmy: It’s been so long ago now, but if my memory serves correctly I think I went to a big pizza buffet and loaded up. And I enjoyed it thoroughly at the time…until I later realized just how good and healthy high-fat, moderate protein, low-carb living could be.
Skye: How did you exercise during your 180lb weight loss and what does your training program look like today?
Jimmy: When I first started out at 410 pounds, I could barely walk from the parking garage to my cubicle at work without getting all sweaty and breathless. However, after I shed 30 pounds in the first month of being on the Atkins diet, I decided to try walking on the treadmill during my lunch break.
At first I could only go for about 15 minutes at 3 mph…but I quickly increased that to 4.5 mph for 45 minutes within just six months. My only regret is that I didn’t know about intervals or how to lift weights at the time because it would have helped me develop muscle mass while I was shedding stored body fat.
These days, I’m very active and varied in my own workout routine. I play competitive volleyball weekly and the occasional pickup game of basketball for recreation. Additionally, I engage in periodic interval training that I learned from Dr. Joe Mercola called “Peak 8” as well as mostly upper-body strength training a couple of times a week.
My lower body gets a good workout with two yoga/Pilates classes weekly that I use mostly for stress management. I’m a big believer in finding activity that suits your schedule and makes you feel good about yourself. Nothing feels better than being on the front row of volleyball and blocking a spike (it helps to be 6’3″ tall, too!).
Skye: You’ve acknowledged that you lost 170lbs following a low-fat diet in 1999 but that you felt hungry throughout and then gained back the weight in just 4 months.
Do you think the feelings of hunger led you to binge eat once the diet was over?
Jimmy: Oh, no doubt about it. When my wife asked me to go to McDonald’s to get her a Super Size Meal and I asked if I could have one too, I knew it was gonna be all downhill from there.
I binged like I’d never binged before in my entire life. I was mad that in order to be thin and what I thought was healthy, I had to eat a low-fat, high-carb diet…and be constantly hungry all the time. Who can live like that?
This is one of the major reasons why people have given up on trying to lose weight or eat healthy because they think that means cutting all the fat out of their diet for good. But once people realize there is an alternative hypothesis to the low-fat diet that allows them to consume delicious and healthy saturated fats like butter, coconut oil, full-fat cheeses, beef, and more while limiting their intake of carbohydrates that stoke insulin and blood sugar levels, there’s no turning back.
I’ve never had to worry about binging since I’ve been livin’ la vida low-carb because the fat and moderate amounts of protein are so incredibly satiating. You’ve never consumed a diet more nutrient-dense and fulfilling than a high-fat, low-carb one!
Governments, Grains and GDP
Skye: Why do food authorities still recommend a carbohydrate laden diet when the health benefits of a lower carb diet are so apparent and studies back up the benefits?
Jimmy: As my friend Tom Naughton in his hilariously educating documentary film FAT HEAD said so succinctly, “Follow the money.”
There’s a whole lot of money to be made by pharmaceutical companies, the food industry, and medical professionals who rake in billions annually performing operations on people who could stand to benefit from healthy low-carb living.
Why would they ever give up this cash cow? There’s no money to be made in promoting a low-carb lifestyle, so it’s left to people like me and others who have been changed by it to spread the word. The dirty little secret is in the end these companies don’t realize they are ultimately going to lose money when their customers are all dead or dying from the very products they’re now using to make money off of them!
Skye: Doctors openly admit that they only get 2-3 weeks of nutritional training.
Do you think this is why they rehash the “high carb, low calorie, much exercise” dogma and advise against alternative approaches such as low carb dieting?
Jimmy: With all that we’ve learned about the undeniable connection between most chronic diseases and nutrition, it is simply inexcusable for medical schools to neglect teaching future physicians the importance of using food and supplements as medicine.
Naturopathic doctors are on the cutting-edge of offering their patients this kind of quality care rather than settling for the “just take this pill” approach to practicing medicine. Doctors unfortunately have become drug pushers and are beholden to the pharmaceutical industry sending in their well-dressed, good looking reps with all sorts of luxurious gifts to lure them into peddling these on to their patients.
I don’t entirely blame doctors for having this mentality, but something must be done to end this madness. And I think the tide is slowly turning in a positive direction. More and more physicians are realizing the efficacy of low-carb diets and are now using them with their patients, especially for morbid obesity and diabetes.
I keep a running list of low-carb friendly doctors at my
“List Of Low-Carb Doctors”
Skye: Bodybuilders are being turned onto higher fat diets for the body composition benefits during dieting. Many follow a ketogenic diet while trying to lose fat and then return to a higher carb diet whilst trying to gain muscle.
Whilst it’s good that higher fat diets are gaining more mainstream acceptance in the domain of average gym goers, do you think they’re missing out on the health benefits by returning to a carbohydrate laden diet?
Jimmy: Unfortunately, I don’t agree that higher fat diets are gaining mainstream acceptance in the domain of average gym goers. In my local gym, they’re all still stuck on the premise that you need to eat a lot of grains in your diet while eschewing the fat.
These same people walk on the treadmill for hours at a time and you never see any change in their body composition. These people not only need to understand why fat is GOOD for them and most sugary, starchy and grainy carbohydrates should probably be avoided, but they need to give up the mistaken idea that cardiovascular exercise is doing them any good other than conditioning.
It’s much better to do strength/resistance training as well as interval training in conjunction with high-fat, low-carb nutrition to maximize fat loss. Eat more fat, eat less carbs, ditch the cardio and pump it up. That’s a recipe for virtually guaranteed success!
Blogs, Books and Banter
Skye: Did you ever imagine when you put fingers to keyboard on that first blog post, that one day you’d do it full time?
Jimmy: It was always my dream to find a job where my skill set could be used to its fullest potential, I could make enough money to support my family, and where I could directly impact the lives of the people I come into contact with.
Through my blog, books, YouTube videos, and two highly-successful health podcast shows, that dream has become a reality. Although I always felt I had the potential to do great things in my career, I always seemed to hit the proverbial glass ceiling falling way short of my expectations for myself in every job I had before this one.
Now that I am my own boss and the whole
“Livin’ La Vida Low-Carb”
brand lives or dies based on my commitment to it, it motivates me to stay innovative, constantly make improvements to the way I do things, and aim to be the best blogger I can possibly be. Although I work more hours and harder at this “job” than any other job I’ve ever had, I wouldn’t trade the opportunity to educate, encourage, and inspire others daily for anything!
Skye: The ever popular “The Livin La Vida Low Carb Show with Jimmy Moore” podcast sees you interview an array of people including low-fat proponents. You challenge their views from a learning perspective rather than a “my opinion’s right, yours is wrong” standpoint.
So why do you think some of them refuse to appear once they find out you’re pro-low-carb?
Jimmy: That’s a very good question.
I’ve worked very hard to make my
“Livin’ La Vida Low-Carb Show” podcast
open and accessible to anyone interesting that has something to say about diet, fitness and health–even if it runs counter to what I personally believe.
I’m not one of these people who has the mindset of “us vs. them” and that we need to be exclusionary of anyone who holds a certain perspective. I’d rather listen to what they have to say, interact with them and push back where appropriate based on what I’ve learned about the subject, and then share areas where we can agree and agree to disagree.
It’s the way I think debate in any arena should be framed and I’m grateful to those people like Dr. Neal Barnard and Dr. Dean Ornish, for example, who willingly came on my podcast to be interviewed knowing that our philosophies didn’t match up. I have a lot of respect for them and others who are willing to take the heat. But my style isn’t to beat them over the head like Sean Hannity or Bill O’Reilly do with their guests.
Instead, I offer a more gentle approach as a means for encouraging dialog. This philosophy will be challenged soon when I interview the famous raw vegan advocate in Australia known as Durianrider (Harley Johnstone) in Episode 486 on July 14, 2011. You certainly don’t want to miss that interview!
Skye: You’ve written two books, October 2005’s “Livin’ La Vida Low-Carb: My Journey From Flabby Fat To Sensationally Skinny In One Year” followed by November 2009’s “21 Life Lessons From Livin’ La Vida Low-Carb: How The Healthy Low-Carb Lifestyle Changed Everything I Thought I Knew”
What’s new in the second book that isn’t in the first?
Jimmy: My debut book in 2005 was all about my low-carb weight loss success story and I began writing it shortly after losing my weight in 2004. People kept asking me “How’d you do it?” and I told them I’d write a book to share the story. And so I did.
“21 Life Lessons From Livin’ La Vida Low-Carb” is an entirely different book that is quite a bit longer than my first book. At 500 pages, I wanted to pack a whole lot of information in there about the latest studies, inspiring stories, and even personal stuff in my life that demonstrate all the many lessons I’ve learned about low-carb living and life in general since I began this journey.
For anyone who is just starting out on low-carb and even for the savvy veteran of this way of eating, I provide information that will arm you with information to use with sceptical friends or family members who think you’re on some “dangerous” fad diet. Very clearly that’s not the case.
You also get to learn a little more about me and how my family culture growing up led me to become morbidly obese, how my low-carb weight loss landed me a movie role alongside George Clooney, and the tragic passing of my full-blooded brother Kevin at the age of 41.
That book is very special to me and I’m happy it has been a source of education and inspiration to everyone who has read it. An e-book version of the book that works on Kindle, iPad or other digital reader devices is available here.
Living Low Carb
Skye: Following a diet that restricts an entire food group can place strain on relationships if your partner doesn’t subscribe to your diet plan.
Does your good lady follow a low carb approach and what advice would you give to readers whose partners eat a typical western diet?
Jimmy: The good news is I never restricted an entire food group. I simply brought my consumption of the culprit foods (mostly carbohydrate sources) back in line with what our early ancestors would have consumed.
And my wife Christine was, is and will always be an incredible source of encouragement to me as I travel down this low-carb journey to better health. She hasn’t always personally eaten low-carb because weight hasn’t ever been an issue for her. But when her triglycerides registered at nearly 300 a few years back, it was then that Christine realized metabolically she had the blood work of someone who is not the picture of health.
That’s what motivated her to get more serious about restricting her carbohydrates and the results have been sensational–her triglycerides plummeted and she even dropped about 20 pounds. AMAZING!
Anyone who has immediate family that doesn’t necessarily follow a low-carb diet, just try making low-carb recipes that they WILL enjoy. If you need inspiration, there are some incredible cookbooks from people like Dana Carpender, Judy Barnes Baker and Jan McCracken as well as free recipes for your low-carb lifestyle from Linda’s Low-Carb Recipes web site or my buddy Kent Altena’s (bowulf) YouTube videos.
Beyond Low Carb
Skye: You’re currently doing a total fast for 7 days, why did you decide to do it and how did it go?
Jimmy: WOW, what an experience! I was inspired to do this after interviewing a cancer researcher named
Dr. Thomas Seyfried
from Boston College in November 2009 who said during that conversation that the best way to prevent cancer is to do an annual one-week fast.
At the time I thought he was crazy since I was dealing with some reactive hypoglycaemia and knew I couldn’t go for more than a few hours without eating. But I always wanted to try this simply to experience what it would be like.
So beginning on Sunday evening, April 10, 2011, I embarked on my first-ever fast which I chronicled on my
“Low-Carb Menus” blog
While it was rough the first few days, it was followed by several says of euphoria and clearmindedness like I’d never had before. The seventh and final day was difficult with my blood sugar dropping into the 50s, so I ended the fast a couple hours short of a full one-week period. But I learned so much from this that I shared on my “Livin’ La Vida Low-Carb” blog.
I have to extend my gratitude to Jimmy once more for the quality answers and wealth of resources in the responses!
Be sure to check out Jimmy’s
Livin’ La Vida Low Carb Blog
and bookmark him as your resource for low carb information, there really is no better source out there.
I’d also recommend you check out Jimmy’s regular
and books too.